Saturday, January 8, 2011

Manhunt underway across California to find men who allegedly sexually assaulted 10 disabled women

From NBC in San Francisco:

A manhunt is under way across California for several men who allegedly sexually assaulted at least 10 severely handicapped women. One detective calls it the most disturbing case in his long career.

"These victims are severely disabled," said Los Angeles County Sheriffs Sgt. Dan Scott, "Many of them appear to be unable to move and most of them are wearing diapers."

An anonymous informant dropped off 11 DVDs at the sheriff's department containing more than 100 hours of footage, Scott said. The video includes scenes of people sexually assaulting the disabled women.

Investigators believe there are at least 10 suspects and are asking for help solving this case, saying it could be happening anywhere in California or even the nation.

One of the suspects is believed to be a patient or resident at a location where at least one of the assaults occurred. In the video he can be seen entering the room wearing a diaper and then assaulting a woman.

"It does not appear there was any consent given and in many cases they were unable to give consent," said Scott. "Force was also used."

After one horrendous sexual assault, one of the victims was picked up and thrown back into a wheel chair."

Because of the poor quality of the videos, detectives have only been able to generate composite sketches of four of the suspects.

"The detective's gut feeling, the way they reacted and the way they behaved, they appear to be employees," said Scott.

The problem is, they don't know where or when the assaults took place. Sgt. Scott said it could have happened anywhere in the nation, which is why they're asking for help from the public.

They would also like the anonymous informant who left the videos to come forward. The person did leave a note with the DVDs claiming he found the video when someone asked him to professionally clean their computer's hard drive. Detectives say the informant is not in trouble and could be able to help in the investigation.